A real curate’s egg of a story today with the news that Kerry county council has voted (5-3) for a motion that would allow people living in rural areas to drink and drive. The motion, proposed by independent councillor Danny Healy-Rae, would mean the creation of a permit for rural drivers allowing them to drink after having “two or three drinks”.
Healy-Rae argued that people living in rural areas were ”travelling very minor roads” which had “very little traffic” and that “they had never killed anyone”. Mr Healy-Rae is a pub landlord and believes that the recent reduction (in was reduced to 50mg in 2011) of the drink-drive limit has led to a loss of social outlets for lonely people.
“The only outlet they have then is to take home a bottle of whisky and they’re falling into depression, and suicide for some of them is the sad way out,” he added. However, not everyone shares Mr Healy-Rae’s views. The Irish Labour councillor, Gillian Wharton-Slattery, said: “Depression causes suicide. It’s not caused by not being able to go to the pub.”
What?! Clearly Ms Wharton-Slattery has never suffered from “clinical pub deprivation”.